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Friday, March 25, 2011

Excellent Symphony at UWM

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The UWM Symphony Orchestra is performing three classical pieces under the baton of Margery Deutsh.  Leading off is Sergei Prokofiev's 'Classical' Symphony No. 1.  Born in Sontsouka, Ukraine in 1891, Prokofiev was, like Mozart, a child prodigy and displayed considerable early talent as early as five years old.  Prokofiev was intrigued with the music of the great masters, including Haydn and Mozart, and was of one of the early proponents of neoclassicism, making him arguably one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.

Following on the program is another legendary Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, best known for his Nutcracker Suites.  Like Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky was steeped in the allure of neoclassicism structured the piece in seven variations known as the Variations on a Rococo Theme. The piece wanders in and out of lively paced grace and contemplative grandeur, ending with a blazing finale.  The concert finale is Beethoven's 6th Symphony.  Written almost simultaneously with the 5th Symphony, which deals with the struggle and joy of victory of the soul, the 6th is an expression of Beethoven's love of nature.  Known as the 'Pastoral,' Beethoven dug deep to capture the gist of nature and placed man, with feelings and sensitivities to be the core of nature, creating a great dichotomy between the two symphonies, and between the fervor and power of the 5th and the elegant grace of the 6th, clearly displaying Beethoven's great range of emotion.

The concert will be held in the Helen Bader Concert Hall, Helene Zalazo Center of Performing Arts, featuring Stefan Kartman on cello, at 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd. at 7:30 p.m., April 1.